Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gardening For the Birds and the Bees with Flowering Trees

Gardeners garden for many reasons.  Perhaps the most common reason is to get back to that part of us that belongs with nature.  We want to see the world around us come through our garden and provide for its positive growth.  How we do that can vary in thousands of ways but almost every method provides some sort of food source for nature and its creatures.  Recently I planted a few plants that will one day provide nutrition and shelter for some of nature's creatures. (The materials and plants in this post were provided as a part of Lowe's Creative Ideas!)

When providing for nature's growth natives are a great place to start.  When you think of spring flowering native trees and my state (Tennessee) one of the first trees you should think of is the dogwood.  Dogwoods show their blooms (which are really bracts) every spring to the delight of every gardener.  I selected two varieties of dogwoods to plant which will eventually fill in to replace the Bradford pear tree I removed. Dogwoods are much better choices than callery pears which are very invasive trees.  Dogwoods attract pollinators in the spring to their flowers and produce drupes (berries) that the birds will love in the fall.  I selected and planted a pink dogwood and a white dogwood named 'Cherokee Princess'.  'Cherokee Princess' has extremely large and showy bracts/blooms.  Both of these are the native Cornus florida dogwoods.

Dogwood 'Cherokee Princess'

I also planted lavender.  This herb/shrub is a great plant for the bees.  When in bloom the bees flock to it and when not in bloom the fragrance of the foliage is fantastic.  The variety I planted is 'Blue Scent' (Lavendula augustifolia).  Lowe's had these for about $13 for large pots of this variety, but I used a little trick to expand my garden.  The lavender plants were actually planted with three in each pot.  This is done sometimes to make the plant bushier for better sales.  It works but many people don't realize that you can easily separate these plants and get more for your money.  I brought home two of these and separated them into 6 total plants which I think planted into a row behind a little sitting wall in the garden.  It should make for a great place to sit and enjoy the lavender fragrance this summer!  Be sure not to plant lavender in a place with too much moisture as they really need soil that drains well.


To help provide for another of nature's creatures I brought home two hummingbird feeders.  Our old one leaked and needed replaced.  Hummingbirds love a variety of flowers with tubular shapes like penstemon, honeysuckle, salvia, and others and need lots of energy to sustain their movement.  Hummingbird feeders help to support the hummingbirds when there aren't enough flowers blooming and bring the little birds closer for the gardener to enjoy.  I generally prefer planting flowers for them but right now their favorites are not flowering in our garden so in order to see them the hummingbird feeders are one way to go.


What do you do to support nature in your garden? 

2 comments :

  1. I found lots of interesting information here. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in this subject.

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  2. I can empathize with the author. My mother was a great gardener when I was growing up.

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